and Meet Us!
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I Submit Products for Review?
are the Reviewers'
How do I
Active Learning Associates is a proud member of the Association of Educational
"I really like how you tell it like it is... Warts and all!" Lynn Bird, Parent
"Your publication has been invaluable
in providing reliable, unbiased and realistic reviews of children's
software." Teresa Bueti,
"I never buy software without consulting CTR." Jan Cuddington, Teacher
good, solid reviews that give you exactly what you want to
know by a group of educators and former educators who put
learning first." www.funderstanding.com
Software Revue is the best publication on children's
software I've found."
Rose McKenzi, Teacher
"I have thoroughly enjoyed your magazine over the years. I was one of your early subscribers. My youngest is now 12 years old so we have for the most part grown out of much of the software that you review. Once again, I think your magazine is a great resource and I have used it many Christmases and birthdays. Thank you! Sally Chambers,
Baldwinsville NY (A graduated subscriber, since
"CTR is my favorite guidance when it comes to issues involving computers and children." Lonnie Brown, the Lakeland
Children’s Technology Review is an independent publication created in 1993 by educational psychologists committed to identifying quality interactive media/technology products for children. The skilled team of reviewers specializes in children's interactive media using a rigorous standardized review process that ensures a quality and safe experience. Particular attention is paid to the educational benefit of each experience.
Parents and libraries have relied this information to choose video games, Internet sites and educational toys. Sample issue (PDF).
The Format: Each monthly issue contains the latest trends, plus reviews and previews of 50 noteworthy products: children's web sites, video games, educational software products and interactive DVDs -- in alphabetical order. CTR's advertisement-free publication delivers informed opinions in a succinct 350-word-or-less format. These are not reprints of public relations materials.
CTR is available by subscription in Electronic and/or Print format -- including a searchable database (Children's Software Finder™) of over 8,200 product reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Mission Statement: To help parents, librarians and teachers find quality interactive media/technology products for children.
- How many products have you reviewed? 10,537 as of 2007. Of these, approximately 8,200 are searchable online, as of January, 2008. See the complete January 07 list.
- What forms of Children's Technology Review are available? CTR is available as an electronic (PDF) and/or print periodical and a web site with a searchable database (Children's Software Finder™). Printed issues are designed to be stored in a custom three-ring binder, and an annual index is provided at the end of the year.
We also publish Top 100 Reports for various categories.
- Who owns Children's Technology Review? Active Learning Associates, Inc., a privately-held corporation located at 120 Main Street, Flemington, New Jersey, 08822, publishes Children's Technology Review. Warren Buckleitner is the Editor.
- What is the correct name? It has changed with the technology. The first issue was printed in 1993, titled Children's Software Revue. In April 2005, " & New Media" was added to the title. In 2005, the title was again changed to Children's Technology Review. The current and formal name is "Children's
- Do you have policies regarding how you handle subscriber information? In the time we have started publishing, we have never released our subscriber names to outside parties, and we have no interest in doing so. We do use email and/or address information to deliver billing and renewal notices (twice per year). Please see our disclaimer for details and other legal and copyright information.
- Do you review video games? Yes. We review all forms of interactive media of interest to children, ages birth to 15.
- How long has CTR been around? The first issue of CTR was published October 1993. The review database contains over 8,200 reviews dating back to 1985.
- How do you avoid conflicts of interest? It is important for our readers to know about all sources of potential bias, and for us to fully disclose them. CTR contains no advertising, and CTR reviewers do not own stock, or serve as advisors or consultants for any company whose products we might review. See our editorial
guidelines for more information.
- What kinds of products do you review? All interactive children's
media, including educational and entertainment CD-ROMs, children's video
games, children's Internet sites and smart toys (toys with interactive
electronic capabilities). As educational psychologists, our expertise
is in evaluating the quality of the interaction between the child and
- For what ages do you review? From birth to 15 years.
- Who assigns the ratings? Both children and experienced reviewers. Our team of reviewers are experienced educators who understand children. They've each been trained to achieve inter-rater reliability (p < .05) on independent reviews of the same product using CTR's evaluation rubric.
- Why do you charge for access to parts of this site? Since we are not advertisement-driven, our sole source of income comes from our subscribers. We strongly believe in providing you with the best, unbiased reviews that are available. Thank you for your continued support.
- What happens to the products you review? CTR does not keep the products we review. We donate all reviewed products to the Mediatech Foundation, a non-profit community technology center located in Flemington, NJ. At Mediatech, new products are tested. Certain products, such as cameras or computers, are returned after the review period is over. Mediatech is open to the public. For more information, visit Mediatech's web site.
- How can I get Children's Technology Review? Prices start at $30 for an Electronic Only subscription. You can order online and get instant database access or call 800-993-9499 from 9-3 EST. Discount subscription programs (such as site subscription options) are also available.
"I've always considered Children's Software Revue to be the gold standard in reviewing kids' interactive entertainment and education---and I used to run a competing children's software review site. They are independent, extremely comprehensive, and fiercely devoted to what's best for kids." Michael Rogers, Editor and General Manager,
"Today's technology has so much to offer our children; but who has the time to evaluate and sort out the many products? Educators and parents can rely on Children's Software & New Media Revue for thorough, honest, kid-tested reviews of all today's software." Mary C. Noschang, Editor in Chief,
Today's Catholic Teacher
"One of the first online sites to provide unbiased and "education-friendly" reviews of software for students, Children's Software Revue continues to provide teachers and parents with the information needed to make informed purchasing decisions!" Kathy Schrock, Technology
Administrator, Nauset Public Schools, and creator of Kathy
Schrock's Guide for Educators
"Children's Technology Review has consistently provided reliable, comprehensive reviews for all stages of a child's development. Their thorough information provides teachers and parents with the necessary information to make smart purchasing decisions on the best learning software for children." Lucille Renwick, Executive Editor, Instructor Magazine
In the News
CTR fulfills its mission by sydicating content to print or television outlets, including Scholastic's Parent & Child, Consumer Reports WebWatch, New York Times, Nick Jr., Family Magazine and The Master Teacher. You can learn more about our work by linking to several articles that were in print and are online, such as the New
York Times, CNN
Headline News (as a QuickTime
Childhood Today, The
Washington Post, The
Las Vegas Review-Journal, ABC
News. Our testing process was discussed in the Education Week article
Reviewing Digital Content. You might also enjoy David Pogue's discussion about the use of computers with preschoolers (New
York Times/Circuits, March 22 2001). If you have the correct plug-in for your browser, you can also hear CTR's editor, Warren Buckleitner provide testimony to the US Congress or comment on the use of technology in home schooling on NPR's All
Reliable & Valid Reviews (TO
In order to increase the reliability and validity
of our reviews, the following steps are taken:
- Reviewers use a form of the Children's Software Evaluation Instrument
(Buckleitner, 1984). This instrument was created after
formal studies on how children interact with a variety of
interactive software products, and by applying generic
child development and intrinsic motivation theory. The
instrument helps our editors achieve a level of
reliability in our ratings, and makes it easier to
compare similarly designed products.
- CTR does not profit from the sales of award seals;
and does not charge for (and monitors) quotes and
endorsements. A publisher who displays a quote must
follow a set guidelines to make sure the quote is not
misleading. Any publisher who uses the "All Star Award"
seal signs an appropriate use statement.
- The children's publishing industry is commercial and
competitive. In an effort to protect the independent,
critical nature of the reviews that appear in Children's
Technology Review and
this web site, the publishers of CTR (Active Learning Associates,
Inc. Board of Directors) follow a set of editorial
How Do I
Submit My Products for Review? (TO
Please see our review
guidelines for specific instructions on how to submit
your products to Children's Technology Review.